There is a lot of hype around having personal 3D printers but consumers have not warmed up to the idea much because they believe it’s only useful for making toys. Although 3D printers won’t replace assembly lines anytime soon, we’ll still see them having an impact on enterprise manufacturing. It will be the main focus of rapid prototyping and mass-customization. We’ll see a lot of this with the shoe industry, such as 3Dshoes.com

 

Chief technology officer at Wiivv Wearables, Ben Wynne, has been working with this technology over the years. Consumer demand for personal, customizable products is still growing. Wiivv has recently used 3D printing to create their “body perfect” insoles. Their system turns scans into printable files enabling them to create, in theory, almost everything, including perfect insoles. We’ll see 3DShoes and other footwear manufacturing companies using technology like this now and in the future.

 

3D printing could be used to produce personalized parts, which will be used in a completed consumer product. There were many investors that helped with Wiivv’s $3.5 million round in December 2015 including MAS Holdings, a Sri Lanka company that is one of the largest apparel and footwear manufacturers. Other team ups could be seen between assembly line operators and customization companies. Rapid prototyping is a practical use for this technology, and hundreds of various sizes and molds could be created. 3DShoes.com and other printing companies are on the right path to an idea that will continue to grow.

 

Original Article: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/innovation/forget-the-hype-this-is-how-3d-printing-will-really-be-used/